The Port of Porbandar lies on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the state of Gujarat in northwestern India. Perhaps most famous as the birthplace of the Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi and Sudama, a friend of Lord Krishna, it is the administrative hub of Gujarat’s Porbandar district. About 180 thousand people live in the Port of Porbandar.
Archaeological evidence suggests that there was a Harappan settlement at the site of today’s Port of Porbandar as long ago as the 16th to 14th Century BC when the Harappan were engaged in maritime activity. The remains of ancient jetties on the Porbandar creek demonstrate the Port of Porbandar’s importance in the far distant past.
The modern Port of Porbandar is about one thousand years old. As early as at least the middle 16th Century, the Port of Porbandar was the seat a princely state ruled by the Jethwa clan of rajputs, one of the oldest dynasties to rule an Indian state. In the late 18th Century, the Marathas conquered the ruling Mughal governor of Gujarat. The state came under British influence in 1807.
The Port of Porbandar has long been a prosperous trading port. In 1920, Shri Narottam Morarji became the first person in India to own a steamer. He is known today as the Father of Indian Shipping, and the date he acquired the steamer is celebrated throughout India as The Maritime Day.